Jack Hoffman gets to hold buddy Rex Burkhead’s Uplifting Athletes Award.
By Randy York
The word “best” is hard to describe, let alone define. But it sure is easy for Nebraska fans to vote for the Best Moment in sports over this past year, one of the awards that ESPN will present live on Wednesday night, July 17, four days before Jack Hoffman will participate in the inaugural Nebraska Football Uplifting Athletes Road Race, presented by the Lincoln Track Club.
Talk about the best opportunity for college football’s best fans to support Husker Nation’s best moment in sports. Even though national voting to determine ESPY winners continues to the last minute before the live show begins in Los Angeles, Big Red fans have an amazing opportunity. “Win or lose in LA, Jack will be in Lincoln that next Sunday morning to start the One-Mile Fun Run for our chapter of Uplifting Athletes,” Keith Zimmer said. “That means every person, kids or adults who sign up, can help benefit pediatric brain cancer, plus get lots of encouragement from members of the Nebraska football team.”
Zimmer said more than 100 Nebraska football players met Tuesday night to discuss their collective commitment to a cause they selected to support when they formed the Nebraska Chapter of Uplifting Athletes. Two players took it upon themselves to remind their teammates of Jack’s inspiring, record-setting touchdown run in Nebraska’s Spring Game last April and how it was the team’s turn to inspire Jack and all pediatric brain cancer patients who will benefit from funds raised for research. Nebraska fullback C.J. Zimmerer, the first president of NU’s Uplifting Athletes, and Husker wide receiver Sam Burtch, the current president, encouraged their teammates to block out 7 a.m. to 10 a.m. on race day to support the One-Mile Fun Run and the 5K Road Race.
“We’re envisioning dozens of Husker football players participating and whoever else decides to join them,” Zimmer said. “I know that our 5K runners are going to get some encouragement, too. They won’t have time to stop, but some of the players who will be handing them water and urging them on throughout the course will be Taylor Martinez, Ameer Abdullah, Kenny Bell, Ciante Evans, Stanley Jean-Baptise and Jason Ankrah. The players will be the fans on Race Day, and we think the runners will enjoy all of those guys rooting for them.”
Andy Hoffman, his wife, three children and a niece, will fly to Los Angeles Friday and enjoy three days at Disneyland, compliments of ESPN. “They invited all the people who were nominated, and we’re so appreciative to be part of this whole experience,” Andy said Wednesday. “We won’t know who will win for Best Moment, but we’re making sure this is one of our best moments as a family. Jack is finally off his protocol for Chemotherapy. We’re living life one MRI at a time and trying to live like God wants us to live, making every day count and letting tomorrow take care of itself. We’re going to enjoy every minute we can, and please tell Husker Nation we appreciate their support and hope to see as many people as possible at the Lincoln Road Race a week from Sunday.”
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